The latter part of the second period during Sunday night’s Tampa Bay Lightning-Montreal Canadiens game played out like a horror movie for the Bolts.
Less than a minute after having a potential go-ahead goal wiped away on a questionable goalie interference call, the Lightning appeared to have lost Steven Stamkos — unquestionably their best player — when the center took a hard knee to the head from Habs defenseman Alexei Emelin.
Already trailing the Canadiens two games to none entering Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the last thing the Lightning need is to be without one of the NHL’s top scoring threats.
Stamkos was able to return in the third period, but not before Brendan Gallagher scored to give the Canadiens a lead they didn’t relinquish in an eventual 3-2 Montreal win.
After practice on Monday, Stamkos told the media that he is feeling pretty good and is expecting to play in Game 4 on Tuesday.